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Cambridgeshire Year 5 Maths Challenge and Year 6 English Challenge


The Cambridgeshire English and Maths Team have been running the Year 5 Maths Challenge and Year 6 English Challenge for many years and each year they are well-attended by teams of enthusiastic children from schools across the county. The competitions are for teams of four children, who work together to solve challenging questions from a range of topics. 

The English Challenge is for children in Year 6, who work collaboratively solving questions about books, famous characters, text types and basic skills. This competition takes place in the autumn term. If you would like more information please email us at 

The Maths Challenge is for teams of four Year 5 children. The children work together to solve puzzling problems designed to test their knowledge and memory skills along the way. The competition takes place in the summer term. If you would like more information please email us at

Taking part 

Live heats are held in schools across the county in the spring term (Year 6 Cambridgeshire English Challenge) and the summer term (Year 5 Cambridgeshire Maths Challenge). Once all heat locations are finalised, booking will be available by visiting School Improvement Service online calendar (

Taking part in future heats

If you would be interested in hosting a heat at your school, please read the 'Hosting a Heat' guidelines document - which you can download below.

If you are planning on entering a team, but are not the host school, you will need to approach taking a team to the competition in the same way that you would for attending any other extra-curricular event, following your school’s relevant policies and protocols.

Thank you for expressing an interest in hosting a heat of the Year 6 English Challenge or Year 5 Maths Challenge.

What is involved in hosting a heat?

The following points outline what is involved in hosting a heat. Hosting a heat would involve:

  • Providing a large space, such as a school hall, with tables and chairs for up to 10 teams of four children as well as chairs for their teachers and parents who come and Often there are as many adults as children. Nearer the time we will let you know how many teams have signed up, so that you can make the necessary arrangements for tables and chairs
  • Use of a projector and screen to display the questions large enough so that everyone can see them
  • Providing refreshments such as cold drinks and biscuits for the children and adults at ‘half time’
  • Space for the children to take a break at half time
  • On-site parking for three cars, for the advisers running the heat; and nearby parking for the attending children and adults
  • Please note that advisers usually arrive at 3:45pm, so that they can set up questions and resources in time for the children’s arrival.
  • In return for hosting a heat, the host school does not have to pay the entry fee for their

Minimising risks and ensuring safety

To minimise any risks and hazards we ask host schools to support us in taking the following actions:

  • Host schools to ask visitors to sign in and out, following the usual school procedures
  • To signpost fire exits and fire assembly points
  • Provide access to toilets for adults and children
  • Ensure that any snacks provided do not contain nuts
  • Host schools are advised to make sure there is a first aider on site in case of accidents
  • We will also ask attending adults not to take photos until the end – if they have permission to do so
  • We also ask accompanying adults to supervise the children in their care during break times and at the end of the competition until children have been collected

When do the heats take place?

Heats for the English Challenge take place during January and February. Heats for the Maths Challenge take place in late April and throughout May. All heats begin at 4:15 pm (though we ask teams to arrive at 4:00 pm so we can start on time) and finish by 6:00 pm.

Let us know if you would like to host

If you are interested in finding out more about hosting a heat, please email: or

Thank you once again for expressing an interest in hosting a heat. We look forward to hearing from you.

Cambridgeshire English and Maths Team

Contact us

For more information or to contact the team, email Gary Casey